Near-bottom current direction inferred from comatulid crinoid feeding postures on the Terre Adélie and George V shelf, East Antarctica
February 24, 2011

Authors: Eleaume, M., Beaman, R.J., Griffiths, H.J., Best, B., Riddle, M.J., Wadley, V., Rintoul, S.R., Hemery, L.G., Ameziane, N.

year: 2011

Publication: Deep-Sea Research Part II 58(1-2), 163-169. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.05.023


For the first time, comatulid crinoid feeding behaviour is used to infer near-bottom current (NBC) directions on the Terre Adélie and George V shelf, East Antarctica. We analysed 47 still-image and video transects sampled during the Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census (CEAMARC) expedition in 2007-2008. We recorded the inferred current direction from 1537 comatulid observations and interpolated these data across the shelf using the Natural Neighbour Interpolation (NNI) method.

Results revealed a mode current directionality at each station and a close local agreement between the observed and interpolated NBC directions. The interpolated NBC directions show a coherent counter-clockwise gyre in the deep George V Basin, with a northward and westward flow over the northern flank of the basin and eastward flow near the coast, consistent with the distribution of bottom salinity.

There also appears to be a clockwise gyre on the relatively shallow Adélie Bank, with an easterly or southeasterly flow along the outer-shelf, south and southwesterly on the east Adélie Bank, and westerly along the Terre Adélie coast.

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